Detroit — Cowboys star receiver Dez Bryant doesn’t care how it looked when he was arguing with teammates during his team’s 31-30 loss to the Lions Sunday.
“The only reason why I don’t care is because the passion is all about winning,” Bryant said. “It’s all about winning, I promise.
“Everybody knows we should’ve won this game. A game like this, man, it kills you.”
Bryant finished the game with three catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns, including one sensational one-handed grab in which he pressed the ball against his shoulder. But the lasting image for many will be what some perceived as a tantrum from Bryant on the Cowboys sideline, though quarterback Tony Romo said it wasn’t fueled by selfishness.
“He’s a competitive guy,” Romo said. “He’s never complained to me about getting the ball. He knows that the ball is going to go where it’s supposed to.
“When you guys sometimes see emotions from Dez, it’s just trying to ‘rah rah’ more than it is being a ‘me’ guy.”
Still, the emotional flare up might have been enough to make people temporarily forget the non-story from earlier this week when Bryant told a Dallas radio station he could do anything Lions receiver Calvin Johnson can do, something Bryant insisted was blown out of proportion.
Johnson finished the game with 14 catches for 329 yards, second-most in NFL history, and a touchdown.
“When I told y’all it wasn’t a comparison, and I told you to take a different route with it, that’s fine,” Bryant said of the non-comparison. “This is a team sport. (Johnson) had a hell of a game. He did some great stuff out there — outstanding, seriously.”
Meanwhile, the Lions ran a zone on Bryant’s side for most of the game and often gave cornerback Rashean Mathis safety help to prevent him from dominating the game. Mathis said the Lions successfully contained Bryant apart from his 50-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.
Bryant’s first outburst came in the latter part of the third quarter. Romo targeted Bryant on a second-and-10 play, but they didn’t connect. On third and 10, Bryant was open, but Romo threw to Dwayne Harris.
The drive, which followed a lost fumble by Johnson, resulted in a 53-yard yard field goal by Dan Bailey that put the Cowboys up 13-7.
But on the sideline, Bryant blatantly yelled at Romo.
“The discussion we had was basically not only with him, but with everyone else,” Bryant said. “Just critical situations in the game. Our defense, they stopped them. We’ve got to put up points, and that kind of stuff. That’s all it was.”
Then, after Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford scored the winning touchdown with 12 seconds left, Bryant appeared to be in a heated argument with tight end Jason Witten and defensive end DeMarcus Ware.
“They just wanted me to calm down a little bit just because y’all had seen what happened,” Bryant said. “(Stafford) scored at the end of the game, man. I’m like, ‘Who wouldn’t be pissed?’ ”
While Bryant admitted to the outbursts, he reminded reporters that he showed similar enthusiasm when Romo connected with fellow receiver Terrance Williams for a 60-yard touchdown.
“You’ve have to have that passion,” Bryant said. “If you’re just out there with a mediocre attitude, you’re going to get blown out.”